I’ve been slack in my posting here and the time has come for me to put some shape to my goals for 2013. The last 4 years have been filled with remarkable, nearly miraculous progress and growth for my family and me, and they have also been the years for which I made goals. I see correlation, and if I weren’t a science lover, I might even see causation.

So I will start with writing goals.

As you might know, I have had an agent request the entire MS of The Cabin,
my YA literary novel. She also said she was really excited about it. *brief, dignified squee*

This fact informs my writing goals, changing them significantly. Anyway, without further ado, the writing goals for 2013:

1. Finish revisions on The Cabin, which will consist of finishing the conversion to first person, adding stronger arcs and strengthening characters, and crafting a real ending. Do this by the end of March by working on it every day before I do any goofing off.

2. Complete revisions on Perception, my novel of the Thirty-Six, by the end of April. I would like to have it ready for submission to smaller publishers and get it out there. This commitment to Daron Fraley weighs on me so I need to get it done.

3. Complete my rewrite of Beat and get it submitted to some smaller publishers. I’d like to have this done by end of June, hopefully earlier.

4. Get the first draft of A Town Called Solemn finished by the end of the year. If I can do it faster, great, but I don’t anticipate doing so. This is because there is a great deal of world-building and outlining that needs to be done before I can really delve into the meat of the story. I actually need to do some research, in combination with workshopping so I can get the world right.

Incidentally, I’m really excited about this project.

5. Consider a sequel to The Cabin.

6. Maybe poke away at Servant of the King. It’s pretty good so it needs a home after I make it really good.

7. Sign with an agent. Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later so that she/he can get us a book sold by the end of the year.

8. Sell one of my other books to a smaller house. I really want to be able to vote for the Whitneys!

9. Post one (at least) movie review to my movie review website each week. Here’s that site, if you want to stop by: www.reviewsbyjared.com

10. Do some kind of writing every day, be it with novels or my review website.

And that is a good place to stop with my writing goals. Hard, smart, consistent work will make things happen. Do you have any writing goals? Do you have goals that you are working toward to make some other dream come to pass?

I have other goals. Primary among them are goals relating to my family and my health, as well as one personal goal. Here they are in no particular order (but they’re numbered because that’s how I roll).

1. Laugh with at least one kid daily.

2. Take it day by day to not raise my voice.

3. Sleep 7 hours every night. I need to accept that there will be some nights I don’t do this, but that I can’t let that derail the very serious health goal that I have. Discipline, baby.

4. Exercise a minimum of four days each week, for 30 minutes to 1 hour. On Saturdays, this is usually 1.5 hours.

5. Reduce casual sugar intake to one very moderate instance/day. Saturday is the cheat day.

6. Chat with and kiss my wife daily.

7. Stop talking politics everywhere except in my home. Honestly? To heck with it. I am, in fact, serious about this. This goal includes commenting or sharing on Facebook. I will continue to ‘Like’ things that appeal or speak to me. This is a health goal.

8. Somehow learn to play either the piano or guitar. I think this might require paying for a class or lessons.

9. Attend the temple (LDS) at least once a month. I am shooting for Mondays or Tuesdays at 5:40 AM. I need to plan for the regular closings too.

That’s it for goals. There are other things I need to accomplish. These are tasks/projects rather than goals:

1. Complete the downstairs bathroom (I will be doing most of the manual labor on this).

2. Landscape the unbelievably messy back yard (manual labor!).

3. Fix up and treat the back deck (manual labor! ugh!).

4. Better organize the storage shed so I have workshop space.

5. Craft at least one new leaf for our dining table (alternatively, buy a new table).

6. Replace the window in the master bathroom. (Considering doing this myself. Yikes!)

7. Remove the rose bushes from our property after letting Sarah Eden get cuttings.

8. Arrange a way to safely allow the chickens to have use of the side yard and no wandering in the back yard.

9. Find and create a compost space in the back yard.

10. Possibly fix the chimney flue so we can use our wood-burning stove. This might have to wait until next year.

11. Do whatever it takes to make the chicken coop more accessible during winter. Also buy two bales of straw in the fall.

Whew! I’m going to have to stop there or I might start crying.

So tell me, my friends– indeed, tell the world– what tasks and goals are you working on this year? 2013, I believe, is going to be a very important year for me and my family. How about for you? Are you just buckling up for all the bad luck coming your way in this ill-numbered year, or are you ignoring superstition and going for it?